Behold a thing of beauty! A juicy and shiny glazed pork chop.
Hubby and I are big fans of pork, and our all-time favourite way to eat pork chops is with a sweet mustard crust. However, after creating this tea glaze, I think we may have found a new favourite.
Just the other day we were chatting to friends about our favourite foods and the question came up: “If you could only eat one animal for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
There was much deliberation around the table but then my mate Matt piped up first with ‘Cow. Definitely cow. I love steak.’
His fiance Kate was next ‘Lamb chops! How could you never eat those again?’
Then hubby chimed in ‘Yep, cow for me too’.
‘Really?’ I said. ‘You’ll never eat bacon ever again?’
He shook his head. ‘No! I change my mind. Pork. I mean, pig. I choose pig’.
Me too, pig is it for me: pork chops, porchetta, bacon, iberico jamon…. crackling!
But I digress. Today we are going to be talking about tea…
The lovely people at Nerada Tea recently commissioned me to create a recipe using their black tea. ’Easy!’ I thought. There are lots of yummy sweets to make with tea.
I told Nerada that I like a challenge so they briefed me to create a savoury recipe. Oops! That will teach me for opening my big mouth! Seriously though, I do love a challenge in the kitchen so it was really fun to muck around with their tea, trying out crazy savoury ideas (some of which didn’t work).
I finally came up with a gorgeous combination of poaching pears in black tea and star anise which adds a lovely colour and subtle tea and liquorice flavour. Plus, the pears are also spotted with bits of black tea which look really pretty, see picture above.
Then I used the poaching liquid to deglaze the pan that some pork chops were cooked in. I added some sugar, chilli and white pepper and let it boil rapidly, creating a dark thick syrup that tastes distinctly of tea and has an oozy caramel sauce texture.
When the pork chops are carefully bathed in the glaze they transform into something absolutely heavenly.
I couldn’t resist taking one messy, sexy shot. See how the glaze just hugs the back of the spoon?
This is what the bubbling glaze looks like when you put the cooked pork chops into it. So good! At this point I was salivating and couldn’t wait to plate them up.
Have you tried anything savoury with tea? Maybe using it to smoke meat or in a sauce like I did?
Tea glazed pork chops with tea poached pears
For the pears
- 2 black tea bags (I used Nerada Tea brand)
- 500ml (2 cups) boiling water (from the kettle is fine)
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 ripe, but firm pears (such as Packham)
1. Remove any string or tags from the tea bags and place into a small saucepan. Pour over freshly boiled water (from the kettle is fine) and pop in the star anise. Allow to infuse for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, peel, quarter and core the pears as neatly as possible. Remove the tea bags from the water and discard. Place the pears into the tea and cover with a lid.
3. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until tender, but not falling apart. If the tea boils too hard, take the lid off or turn the heat down to low. Remove the pears and star anise from their poaching liquid with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Reserve the liquid to use with the pork.
For the pork
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 pork chops or cutlets (I used cutlets as the Frenched bone is prettier to photograph)
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- pinch of dried chilli flakes
- pinch of ground white pepper
4. Pour the vegetable oil into a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. When hot, add the chops and cook for 5 minutes on either side or until done to your liking. If your pan is not large enough to fit all four, then do them in batches of two at a time. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
5. Pour the reserved tea poaching liquid into the frying pan along with the caster sugar, chilli flakes and white pepper. Turn the heat up to high and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to boil hard without stirring for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture reduces by half and thickens to become a syrupy glaze.
6. Add the pork chops back to the pan and turn to coat in the glaze and warm through. Serve immediately with the pears and a green salad.
Fig & Cherry was commissioned by Nerada Tea to develop a savoury sponsored recipe featuring their black tea and received complimentary product samples to test with.
If you are a brand or PR who would like to commission a sponsored recipe, please get in touch via the Advertising page.